Arsenal qualified, will it impact focus?

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Monday, first 5 days week in ages. Doesn’t feel good. The office is 600 degrees. I spilt honey in my bag this morning. I also spilt coffee on my lap.

Bad times.

Let’s hope all the bad things are happening right now and that later on, the match will give me all the goodness I need back in my life.

Arsenal. Be good to us tonight.

Arsene Wenger has been having some big chats around winning the title next year, in the right way.

‘You cannot play 38 games in the same convincing style,’

‘You need to have a balance in your team so that if you are not at level of fluency you can still win the game.’

This is a new train of thought for the manager and a welcome one. You also can’t play 38 games with the same player, regardless of how good those players are. Hopefully Wenger will build more trust into his starting line up next year. The man in danger of being the go to person every game is Coquelin. He’ll need a side kick. Front runners look like Schneiderlin, Kondogbia and Gundogan.

We’ll possibly need a person to come in for Theo Walcott. A lot of people saying that could be Chamberlain, but look, he’s great, but always injured so you need to bring some strength in there.

In other news, Arsenal have launched their new community hub! 1500 people can use it per week, they get to play on 4G grass which is pretty sweet. It’s a really nice project and it’s great to see Per and Coquelin got down there to join in the fun.

Tonight we have a big game against Swansea, as Alex said the other day, this is hugely important because the difference between 4th and second is massive. It’d be huge progress. We need to win our last 4 games. That’d take us to 82 points (3 points more than last season). A brilliant achievement from where we were at the start of season. We just need to hope the players don’t take their holidays early, which is always the danger at this time of year.

Same could be said of Swansea, they’re not going down now. They have little to play for, so it could go either way for them as well.

Big game.

Right, short one today. Have a good one!

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08:  (L-R) Arsenal's Per Mertesacker and Francis Coquelin visit the Arsenal Community Hub at Emirates Stadium on May 8, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Per Mertesacker;Francis Coquelin

735 Responses to “Arsenal qualified, will it impact focus?”

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  1. Joe

    You can’t buy smart tactics. Can’t buy transfer smarts like sanago, park, selling rvp to main rivals, can’t buy making smart subs. Can’t buy playing square pegs in round holes

  2. daz

    Oh was you trying to spell money? It has an N in it, I put it in caps to help you remember for next time.

  3. MidwestGun

    Redtroll –
    Yes, a neutral rating site based on factual statistical information is way more innacurate then your troll observations. (Sarcasm alert). Try saying something that is actually true, then I’ll leave you alone. Yes, Giroud was ineffectual, good job you got one right. But you could tell that from the ratings since his was lowest of the starters.

  4. Redtruth

    AKB’s stating the lack of money as the root cause of Arsenal’s woes only goes to prove that Wenger at heart is a cheque book manager.

  5. daz

    “You can’t buy smart tactics. Can’t buy transfer smarts like sanago, park, selling rvp to main rivals, can’t buy making smart subs. Can’t buy playing square pegs in round holes”

    I thought you said you can’t be arsed?

  6. Redtruth

    You said Ozil was not poor and then bscked it up by saying he made the most key passes.
    WTF is a key pass lol

    The only thing Ramsey was better at than Sanchez was ballooning the ball over the bar the most times.

    Cazorla was quiet and he could have had a dozen shots on goal and still remained quiet.

    Coq was our best player and the result at the end proves this.

  7. Joe

    Lame duck excuse. Like the lame duck manager.
    Poor Daz and all akbs. Only money to hide behind. If wenger was such a great manager he would be able to over come and out manage the “money” managers. But he not and that’s why Monaco and Swansea can win against him and why he hasn’t won the title in 10 seasons and never won in Europe.

  8. MidwestGun

    Troll –
    Ummm a pass leading to a goal scoring opportunity.
    Did you miss all of Sanchez’s errant passes and his tap to Fabianski?
    Lol… yes shots are quiet.
    Coq was gonna play keeper then?

    Just stick to Wenger bashing because your game observations aren’t doing you any favors.

  9. Redtruth

    Oh you mean the goal opportunity that bobbled off Ozil’s knee and fell in to the path of Sanchez.

    Oh i see what you mean, their were quite a few of those ‘key passes’ from Ozil last night.

  10. MidwestGun

    Hahaha Redtroll…. need me to explain football to you? You missed the pass to Ramsey then, clean thru on goal from Ozil. Ok…. well, you did say you were blind like Stevie Wonder.

    Tell you what, come back tomorrow with new material, I’ll leave you be.

  11. daz

    See Joe you can do it “money” well done you still need a bit of work though

    “But he not and that’s why Monaco and Swansea can win against him”

    Doesn’t really make sense does it, sound it out Joe start with swapping “not” for can’t you will get there in the end

  12. Joe


    Loses argument the resorts to a grammar/spelling battle

    You’re a muppet and I’m done with you

    Can’t wait till wenger leaves and wanker fans like you leave with him.

  13. daz

    And what makes you think I lost?

    I simply pointed out that you are more concerned with Wenger leaving than the team how have you proved me wrong on this?

    “Can’t wait till wenger leaves and wanker fans like you leave with him.”

    Oh yeah you won.

  14. MidwestGun

    RedT –
    Nope… Ozil played a long thru ball from deep. Ramsey ran onto it tried a few moves and shot it into the side netting. Your referring to the first half when Ozil almost put him thru also. But it’s hard to watch and troll at the same time, so i give you benefit of doubt.

  15. Redtruth


    Sorry mate, you said Ramsey was clean thru on goal, no, i missed that one.

    You sure you was watching the game or was you to busy munching on a jumbo size bag of potato chips lol

  16. MidwestGun

    Lol… nope I had a beer, tho. I have it on Dvr you want the exact time? Ozil wasn’t the issue. You should stick to Giroud, too many similar midfielders
    Bellerins inexperience, Sanchez’s off game, and poor energy and motivation the first half as well as Theo missing 2 golden chances that maybe another striker converts.

  17. MidwestGun

    RedT –
    60 minutes 45 seconds. It was Ramsey 10 yards of pitch and Fabianski, I’d say that’s clean thru. Shot it into side net. Anyhow, doesn’t matter, whole thing is we still need players this summer, it’s all I can hope for. As i doubt we see wholesale management changes after basically the same season as last. Anything else is howling at the moon or whatever it is you do.

  18. tunnygriffboy

    23 games since 1st January

    19 wins, 1 draw, 3 loses

    People go bonkers over a game we lose 1nil when if played again we more than likely win more often than not

    Swansea put 10 men in and around their 18 yard box. Yes they were organised but you have to get away with a bit of luck when you do that. We missed chancesand on numerous occasions the ricochets didn’t fall to us.

    It’s always sad when a team puts 10 men behind the ball and gets a result. Just encourages more of it. We could have settled for a point tonight but we tried to win the game. In doing that we ended up losing it.

    Everyone forgets about the run since Christmas and goes ott about this result. We know we need a bit more quality in the summer, hopefully a result like this might focus minds a bit more

    We need 4 points in 3 games to finish above man u. To catch city we will more than likely have to win our remaining games and hope they drop a point.

  19. MidwestGun

    Tunny –
    Well…… my glass is 45% full now. I was 55%. Lol. But once again it depends on this summer and an FA Cup repeat. I agree, this better be a motivator of
    some sort. Otherwise, i feel like I wasted 90 minutes plus stoppage time of my life.

  20. tunnygriffboy

    If we adopted the same tactics as Swansea tonight what would the game have been like ? West Brom did it to man u, Chelsea have done it regularly. To be honest more and more teams are doing it and it produces borefests. If more and more teams do it then football will start to die.

    The reason we lost tonight was because we tried to hard to win it. Those tactics suck the life out of the game. Bizarrely V7lla will cause us more attacking threat in the fa cup but because they play they will offer us some space, as will man u on Sunday.

  21. tunnygriffboy


    The first half was a dreadful spectacle. They kept 10 men behind the ball and ourbuild up play was way to slow. 2nd half we gave it a good go and because of trying to win the game we lost it.

    Couple of pointers after tonight. Ramsey needs to be in the middle. Jack looked good when he came on. Wenger has to make some strong decisions and bench Ramsey or Santi.

    We need a wide man with pace and dribbling ability in games like that. Running at that packed area should have been a given. Missed the Ox.

    Alexis could have gone on the right for a bit to get to the byline behind them to pull the ball back. He was cutting back in into a packed penalty area.

    Ozil was excellent tonight

    We need a keeper, a forward who can dribble and a DM

    I’m not to downbeat. Players gave it their all, if we played again we’d probably win. For Swansea they did a job but you have to have luck to win a game like that.When the ball bounces around the area it’s fortunate that not once did it fall to an Arsenal player

  22. MidwestGun

    Tunny –
    Agree to some extent. At one point, I thought our best strategy would be to literally just keep passing them the ball so we could counter. Because we looked dangerous on the counter. But as there is no rule from packing as many as you can in the box it is what we always see and we need to find a solution. My advice would be to go all out for that goal early and force them to have to score. It’s why I was severely disappointed in our starting energy. We were content to knock it around the back for the first 20 to 35 minutes…. Having Sanchez, Giroud,Ramsey, Ozil,Santi and Coquelin who all want to play thru the middle doesn’t help, either.

  23. Joe

    Here we go with the “it’s only one result”

    It’s 10 seasons of the same result

    Don’t you get sick of talking about the same mistakes, same results year in year out.

    Making the same excuses year after year.

    Oh but even win 19 or whatever since jan blah. Where are we? 3rd place with the exact same point total and probably 3 points less than last season after Man U beat us because wenger never learns.

    Time for something to change and the only thing left to change is wenger

  24. tunnygriffboy


    I know there’s no rule in packing your own box but more and more teams are doing it. It sucks the life out of the game. It’s not a tactical masterclass it is good organisation and a fair amount of luck

    I hope this gives us a kick up the butt. Can’t fault the effort 2nd half but hopefully we’ll realise we need a bit more specific quality for teams that park the bus. A CF or wide forward who can dribble, another DM and a keeper though I thought Neville slaughtering Oooospina was unfair

    Still doesn’t change the fact we’ve had an excellent run and that we need new blood. Hope we bounce back v United on Sunday. I think the team will be p.issedafter that tonight and we’ll see a reaction

  25. Joe

    I hope this game gives us the kick in the butt

    I hope the players are pissed

    I hope wenger learns

    Same. Old. Story. Every. Time

  26. Joe

    Beaten wife syndrome

    It’s going to be different this time. He’s learned. He will be different.

    But it never is. Same old wenger. Same old dead beat husband

  27. qna


    “They came here just to defend and never came out,”

    (congratulate them) “For their defending yes, [but they were] one of the teams offensively that did the fewest passes of any team here.”

    “They came here to defend. They didn’t play … but we couldn’t take advantage of it”

    “a team that just defended, and completely refused to play. They had four defenders and six midfielders”.

    Similar comments echoing from the lips of Arsene’s adoring AKB masses. And yet. How quickly we forget that our only tangible improvement in the league this season came at City when we did exactly what Swansea did to us last night.

    Swansea (vs Arsenal): Shots 5, on target 3, crosses 8, penalties 0, goals 1.
    Arsenal (vs City): Shots 7, on target 3, crosses 7, penalties 1, goals 2.

  28. tunnygriffboy


    To do a fair and proper analysis of the two games you also need to look at possession stats and where that posession was on the field. I would say we had more possession in city then they did last night. I think that what Wenger said was true.

    Since January 1st including the Southampton game our record goes 23 games, 19 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses. People going nuts about last night, a game we created enough chances to win. We were going to lose at some point, as sooon as we do the pent up anger and hysteria gushes out. People are pleased that we lost so they can say I told you so. It’s quite pathetic


  29. salparadisenyc

    Dissapointing game with a few pretty woeful performances… That doesn’t justify some of these mental comments.

    4 th place is our birthright deal with it.

  30. tunnygriffboy


    First half was too slow. 2nd half we created enough chances to score 2 or 3. Sods law, one shot 2nd half one goal. We could have been more cautious and got a nil nil but we went for it. Our form since Christmas has been excellent. One loss and the reaction is ridiculously ott

    Guess what. Before the game we needed a bit more quality. After the match we still need a bit more quality.

  31. tunnygriffboy


    Fickle is the right word. Been on the guardian blog and supporters from other clubs are laughing at us saying we’re the worst fans in the league for fickleness. Sad thing is it’s true

  32. Wallace


    “At our own house too. The cunt le fraud can’t even beat teams with less resources than us at home!”

    there’s some stiff competition, but you really are the most miserable cunt on here, lacking even the intelligence to realise the reason your expectations are so high is because of the man you spend your life trashing.

    and Bamford with his Schneiderlin offers far more going forward than Coquelin. that’ll be the Schneiderlin of the zero assists this season.

    missed the game, and was hoping to get some idea of how it went on here…sounds like everyone was shit, Wenger’s a fraud, and we need at least 11 new players.

  33. gonsterous


    And sadly we think we have the best fans in the league in supporting the club.. when we criticize everyone and everything right from the why won’t we spend to the why are we spending that much..

  34. tunnygriffboy


    They had pretty much 10 men behind the ball all game. Monk said they’d been working on it all week. We were way to lethargic in our build first half and they were comfortable even managing a couple of counters. Think ospina made one save

    Second half much better, more pace in our passing. Created some really good chances but shot straight at Fabianski who had a very good game. Lacked a bit of width would have liked to see Sanchez switch to the right to try and get passed then and pull the ball back. They defended well got bodies infront of shots and we didn’t get the rebounds falling to us. Took Giroud off ? and Coquelin and pushed for the win. Got sucker punched last 5 mins with realistically their only foray into our half

    Disappointing result. Run was going to end sometime. Hope it focuses our minds for Sunday. Missed Ox and his dribbling ability. Could do with a forward with those attributes in the summer

    As you can see some of the comments have been ott. It’s like we’ve lost half dozen games on the spin. Ludicrous. They are so angry and been waiting for this result for a long time.

  35. mysticleaves

    This is coming late. But regardless, you are a slimey cunty bastard. I wasn’t even here after the win against hull. But once could deduce also form the match thet they were already in holiday mood.

    Keep fantasizing about Arsene that is going no where..

  36. qna

    TGB: To do a fair and proper analysis of the two games you also need to look at possession stats and where that posession was on the field. I would say we had more possession in city then they did last night. I think that what Wenger said was true.

    We dont need to do a fair and proper analysis. We should acknowledge Swansea’s game plan and that they executed it to perfection. By critisizing it, where does it leave us the next time we need to do it. I am worried that if Wenger actually realised the double standard he would be too stubborn to do it next time we go to a better club away. Your fair and proper analysis should reveal that we did better, because our players are much better and much closer to City’s than Swansea’s are to us.

    TGB: Since January 1st including the Southampton game our record goes 23 games, 19 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses. People going nuts about last night, a game we created enough chances to win. We were going to lose at some point, as sooon as we do the pent up anger and hysteria gushes out. People are pleased that we lost so they can say I told you so. It’s quite pathetic

    Why are you picking since January. Is the season January to May or something? Your going nuts about a run which conveniently excludes when we have a drop in form, or injury to key players. This is part of football. If you want to do a “fair and proper” analysis, then look at the complete season. You will see that we have not improved our points tally and there are few tangible improvements. Rather, they are in the eye of the beholder.

    I agree that this loss against Swansea should not be taken out of context. Losses happen to everyone. But you should understand that a win should not be taken out of context either. Nor should a run of wins against teams that we should be beating anyway.

    Anyone that has half an idea of Arsenal’s situation knows that our biggest problem in recent years is our performances against the other top clubs in the league. When you look at the points table from only the top 8 sides, home and away. Arsenal are always below the bottom. This confirms the wider perception that we have been flat track bullys. This year, by most peoples account City, Liverpool and Tottenham have had shockers compared to last season. So in light of this, even if we have not improved our position in this top-8 mini table should have improved. This season, Swansea has replaced Everton in the top 8 and now they have done the double over us.

    This season against top 8 sides our record is W3, D4, L6 with one game to go. This is so far 13 points out of 39 points. That is 26 dropped points, probably 29 dropped points by Sunday night. These are the results that you should be focused on TGB, not our run since January.

  37. mysticleaves

    To be fair to Bamford, he admitted he didn’t watch the match but was sold cheap by someone who said Coq and Ospina was shite.

    So he kinda reverted to type.

  38. mysticleaves

    Your post was too long to deduce if you were being atleast sensible or cunty like joe and Redtroll but this kind of defeats happen to everyone bar Chelsea.

    Why it won’t happen to Chelsea is that they will be comfortable with a draw, so won’t push out to score the winner! Lol

  39. tunnygriffboy


    Chelsea defended well against us. Swansea did ok but we had enough clear chances to win the game. They were organised well but had a fair share of luck as well.

    Why am I picking the games since Christmas ? Simple reason is that we had most of our influential players available post Christmas. The start of the season was disastrous. Some of it was Wenger’s fault not getting cover for Kos or a DM. We had injuries to Kos ( huge miss), Debuchy ( having to blood Chambers and Bellerin ), Arteta Walcott, Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey. We had a cobbled together side and our form was patchy and poor.

    That is a lot of key players missing or am I missing something. It’s no coincidence that as players returned our performances improved. Is a record of 23 games, winning 19 insignificant ?

    I’ve been banging on for ages that as well as bringing in a few quality signings, just as important is keeping the squad fit.

  40. qna

    Mystic: Your post was too long….

    Fair enough. Understand that. In summary:

    1) I was saying to TGB instead of focusing on our results from some arbitrary moment in time (January) where we have a result of P23, 19W, 1D, 3L he needs to take whole season needs to take into account.

    2) It is well known Arsenal’s problem is performance against the other top sides. Last season our poor performance against other top 8 sides was highlighted as our key point of failure. This season, we have not really improved, even though City, Liverpool and Spurs have had relatively poor seasons.

    Our results against top 8 sides (with one to go) stands at P13, W3, D4, L6. This is 13 points out of 39 and a win ratio of 23%. Compare this to our record against the remaining sides and it is P22, W18, D3, L1, with a whopping win ratio of 81% taking 57 points out of 66.


  41. tunnygriffboy


    How many of those defeats came when we had Kos, Giroud, Debuchy, Ramsey and Ozil missing ? Answer this honestly. If any other team had as many influential players missing for months how would their results suffer ? I acknowledge that injuries are a recurring theme but fact remains our squad wasdecimated pre Christmas

  42. Wallace


    i also worry that other managers will follow Mourinho and Koeman’s lead and start setting up not to lose, rather than playing to win. hopefully the PLs history of attacking football will mean fans tire of it quickly.

  43. tunnygriffboy


    Part of doing well in the league is beating teams. Those teams have to be beaten. Even with our injuries before Christmas we were able to cobble a few wins together. Much more difficult to beat the top sides when you have so many players missing. We lost to Southampton away New Years day, to Monaco and Spurs away. We have beaten City, Liverpool and Man u post New Year.

  44. tunnygriffboy


    Yeah, winning football tends to be copied. People wanted to play like Barca but at least they attacked. Now you can see 10 men behind the ball coming into fashion. It happened in italy and it turned punters off. What happens when two teams set up like that ? Stalemate. !t’s also easier to do than work on attacking patterns. We went for the win yesterday and got stung as a result. If we played like that week in week out how long before people started complaining ?

  45. qna

    TGB. Everybody has injuries mate. You cant control them. If this was a one season blip then I could understand your point. But this has been 10 years now. I really wish I could make a top 8 table for the last 10 years and show you, but I dont have the time or patience.

    You seem to think that we are the only ones that have injury problems. Everybody has this. In any case, this is ultimately the crux of one of my other argument as well, that once we start to dip into the 2nd choice players, like Wilshere and Walcott even, but mostly Arteta, Gibbs, Schezeny, Flamini and even Welbeck (when he is given the responsibility of lone CF), then we dont have the quality. So in a sense, I actually agree with your underlying point. But both of our points, whether its injuries to blame or poor squad quality of 2nd choice players, these issues are secondary to the main issue which is that we have not been able to get results against the top teams in the league for a number of years.

    Exactly how many years, I dont know, it was discussed extensively on the football talk shows I was watching at the beginning of this season. And at that time, they were showing (through the top 8 mini league table) that the problem has been going back for at least a few years before that.

  46. Wallace


    “Our results against top 8 sides (with one to go) stands at P13, W3, D4, L6. This is 13 points out of 39 and a win ratio of 23%. Compare this to our record against the remaining sides and it is P22, W18, D3, L1, with a whopping win ratio of 81% taking 57 points out of 66.


    Chelsea still have our number, even if they always come to the Emirates for a draw, Utd at home was ridiculous, City we drew at home and beat away, and Liverpool we drew away and stuffed at home….hardly flat track bullies.

  47. tunnygriffboy


    I’ve acknowledge that injuries are a annual problem and need to be sorted.

    At one stage we had 13 players out so fielding a top team was difficult. Our squad is deep enough to cater for a ‘normal’ amount of injuries but this season they were worse than ever. Surely that affects performance ? Other teams do have injuries but apart from Manu no one had the problems we have had. Take Terrym Maticm Fabregas and Costa out of Chelsea for a third of the season. How would that affect them ?

  48. qna

    TGB: Part of doing well in the league is beating teams. Those teams have to be beaten.

    So who are you describing now. Liverpool? Spurs? Southampton? Swansea? All of these team beat teams – well and often too. You are basically describing how Arsenal can keep the Status Quo of top 4. But unless we can move up the “Top 8 mini league” table, (that is, take a relatively high share of points from the best teams in the league), then we can not improve. In fact, our performance against the lowest 12 teams is virtually impeccable (81% win ratio, 1 loss). The only area where we can demonstrably improve is our results against these top 8 teams. This is why again, I implore you to look at our results against these top teams as our barometer. It doesnt matter about how we perform since January if we played 60% of our matches against top 8 sides before January.

  49. qna

    Wallace: … hardly flat track bullies.

    Flat track results: P22, W18, D3, L1 (57 out of 66 points. Win ratio 81%)
    Non flat track: P13, W3, D4, L6 ( 13 points out of 39. Win ratio of 23%)

    These statistics are overwhelming. Giving excuses and then concluding hard facts are meaningless tells everything you need to know about an AKB.

  50. tunnygriffboy


    Do you not think our performances against the top teams have improved this season ? I think they have. You are right we need to be doing better against the top teams. I say again, since Christmas with more player resources our results have improved. The reason we are fourth is because of this. We need to improve, and we are slowly.

  51. Wallace


    i listed the results against our 4 main rivals. this season we’ve been a lot better against the best sides. get over it.

  52. Thank you and goodnight

    As soon as people except we’re a good top 4 side, nothing more nothing less, the easier it is to except results like last night. As long as wenger remains at the helm in my opinion we will never win the EPL and the holy grail that is the CL. That’s why results like last night doesn’t overly bother me as I never bought into the “we’ve progressed this season” talk.

  53. qna

    Wallace: i listed the results against our 4 main rivals. this season we’ve been a lot better against the best sides. get over it.

    In your mind we have been better. But in reality, we have been pretty much the same as last season, probably 3 points less. Get over that.

  54. tunnygriffboy


    Why call people AKB because the disagree with you. It’s purile and does you no favours.

    We’ve beaten City, Liverpool and Man u this season. Can you thing of any game this season where we’ve been really outplayed bar Chelsea away. Even that was a tighter game than 2 nil scoreline suggests. Southampton away was a poor performance as was Spurs. We were battered last season. Not this.

  55. Wallace


    record against Chelsea, City, Utd & Liverpool this season –

    pl – 7
    won – 2
    drawn – 3
    lost – 2

    not stunning, but solid.

  56. N5

    Seeing how many people Joe said I’m done with you too last night just leaves him with me to talk to doesn’t it? 🙂

  57. Wallace


    “As soon as people except we’re a good top 4 side, nothing more nothing less, the easier it is to except results like last night.”

    but that’s what we are, right? i mean, that’s the reality of the situation.

  58. tunnygriffboy


    We are a top four side. A few additions will improve us again

    I think we have improved. They start of the season was appalling. We dropped so many points that we shouldn’t have. Since we started getting players back the results have improved. It hasn’t been a 10 game run it’s been longer than that and we’ve been consistent, looked better defensively and played some good football

    There’s still room for improvement and if we add the right players we can kick on. Can we challenge next season ? If we keep key players fit and fresh and add some more talent yes we can. Will we win it ? Who knows. However if we don’t put a challenge in next season i think Wenger will go.

  59. Thank you and goodnight


    That’s exactly what we are your right, and some credit has to be given to wenger for that as many teams below would like to break into the top 4. BUT….we will never be a top 2 side challenging for major honours again under wenger.

  60. Emiratesstroller

    What I learned from the two games against Chelsea and Swansea is that we need to continue to build a squad, which provides ‘horses for courses’ and we do need
    to improve our tactical game against teams who are packing defence and midfield and counterattacking in fashion we saw yesterday.

    Frankly we controlled most of the game, but whilst some might argue that we were patient from my perspective we became totally pedestrian for almost 70
    minutes. As I wrote last night there was absolutely no width, pace and in the latter stages our crossing was woeful.

    I have maintained since the start of the season that our squad is now decent and that we do not need to make wholesale changes. However, there is room for improvement in three key positions and those need to be addressed.

    GOALKEEPER. Ospina is a very competent goalkeeper, but his lack of height/
    reach did probably cost us the goal yesterday. Would De Gea, Courtois or Cech
    saved it? Probably yes.

    DEEP MIDFIELD. I think that we do need a world class box to box midfielder
    preferably with a physical presence.

    FORWARD. We need a more mobile and ‘cleverer’ striker than Giroud on our books. That does not mean that I don’t rate Giroud. He is an effective player
    and perhaps two or three of the chances at the end of game would have been
    put away. However, his lack of mobility has been a problem in the two games
    against Chelsea and Swansea.

    Finally my main concern was the lack of a tactical plan. Monk the Swansea manager stated last night that they PREPARED all week for this game. They
    went into game with a very clear game plan. I doubt very much that Wenger
    did the same.

    This is the problem still with Arsenal and our Manager. He seems only interested in how we play and not what the opposition does.

    What is now certain we cannot afford to drop any additional points in our remaining 3 games if we are to finish third and avoid dropping to fourth place with consequence of having top play qualifiers in Champions League.

    As I have said many times Wenger needs to offload players who are surplus to requirements namely Szczesny, Diaby,Arteta,Flamini,Rosicky,Campbell,Podolski, Miyaichi, Sanogo AND Walcott.No contracts should be offered to these players.

    He needs to bring in quality Goalkeeper, Midfielder and Striker/Winger.

  61. Thank you and goodnight


    Wenger will bring in maybe one or 2 of the players for the positions you mentioned, but I’d be extremely surprised if he bought in more than 2 players.

  62. tunnygriffboy


    We need 4 points from 3 games to clinch 3rd. A point at man u would all but seal it. This is Arsenal though 🙂 🙂

    They defended doggedly last night but we created enough chances to win the game. Also they had a bit of lady luck in that the rebounds never fell to our feet.

    Agree with the width. Would have like to have seen Alexis swap sides for a bit to go outside rather than do what he was doing, cutting in from the left into trouble. We missed Ox’s dribbling last night and the forward we buy ought to have pace and be able to dribble

    Ramsey looked better in the middle late on and Wilshere looked good when he came on. Santi wasn’t great. The manager has to be decisive and bench either Santi or Ramsey and we need some to play that keeps our width

    It was a game that 9 times out of ten we would win.

  63. minaj

    How Wenger sat down for the first 45 minutes and didn’t know what to do to get one over Swansea is sickening. Swansea had a week perfecting their plan, what plan did we spend a week perfecting? Slow movements and passes? Urgency and playing with a real sense of purpose is something I haven’t seen in Wenger’s team for years now. Even Chelsea, a confirmed EPL winner played as if there was something at stake against Liverpool,, but here was arsenal playing as if they won the EPL already and nothing is at stake. Wenger couldn’t tell them to move the ball quicker, couldn’t tell Sanchez to do some runs behind Swansea defence line. Expect our 4th position again this season.

  64. qna

    Wallace. Yep agree the record P7, W2, D3, L2, WR28%,PTS 9/14 is not terrible. If it goes to P8, W2, D3, L3, WR25%, PTS 9/16 (as I expect) it will still be better than what we had done in recent seasons. So from this metric alone. I can agree with you that this is some tangible evidence of improvement is there. (I still think picking January to May is misleading, but what you suggest here is a reasonable point of discussion). I also note that you have excluded Spurs who have taken 4 points from us and Southampton who have taken 3, and Swansea who have taken 6. But lets just choose the top 5 as you suggest. Also, it must be noted that the starting point for any improvement is horrid. Also, this level of improvement was achieved after spending 100m.

    But as you said not stunning, but solid. But we circle back to the “we’ve progressed this season” talk as TYAG has noted. But still not even close to good enough to be competitive for the league.

    TGB, true. Using AKB is a cheap shot. But it really is now a descriptive word rather than literal to me now. My argument against people that I call AKB is that the club and Wenger can do no wrong, when I believe they are doing much wrong and the statistics and results generally prove that.

    People, including surprisingly Pedro, criticizing a club legend Henry, our greatest player and perhaps our greatest Arsenal football brain in the media moving forward. What Henry’ has said is 100% correct and yet he is being called mad with fame, and attention seeking, headline grabbing and Owen-like because he is not towing the Arsenal do no wrong mantra.

    You look at the insults that I get on here for not seeing things as all rosy. And I am a guy who doesnt think that Arsenal is terrible, nor do I think Arsene Wenger is a bad manager. The changes I call for might not be popular (e.g., abandoning the British Core, focusing wages on first team players at the expense of weakening the 2nd choice players). But these are viable options for the club, even if they may not be the best options. I also have to argue facts like the fact that we are the 8th highest earning club in the world and the 4th in England. Some people dispute this. While others dispute that having this wealth is directly correlated into expected performance in domestic and european coverage – on average. So on average, we should be finishing 4th in the PL and achieving CL quarter finals. So in calling you an AKB, I am really calling you someone who refuses to accept valid criticisms of the club.

    To turn that around on me. Am I refusing to accept valid praise of the club? I dont think so. I perhaps dont give valid praise to certain players that I have decided are not good enough (Gibbs, Arteta etc). But I think achieving 4th place consistently and qualifying to the group stage consistantly is excellent. I think Wenger is a great manager of the players he has (I critisise the players he chooses to bring in only) and I love the way Wenger sets our side out to play. RANT OVER.

  65. Wallace


    “.we will never be a top 2 side challenging for major honours again under wenger.”

    but it’s no longer just a question of us trying to catch Man Utd as was the case when Wenger arrived. now we’re one of four. and Wenger should get credit for getting us into the position where we can compete with the other three sides.

    Utd fell away under Moyes and have blown 250m trying to get back into contention. City have had a ‘disappointing’ season so are prepared to spend 85m on one player(Pogba) to rectify things. this is the reality of what we’re up against these days.

  66. Bankz

    I’m not even concerned about the top8 mini-league.
    I’m more concerned about yesterday being a must-win game to hit 2nd & we fluffed it.
    yesterdsy was another game where it showed we came into a game unprepared,unmotivated & had zero answers to a team which altered their tactics to get a result at our home just like Monaco.

    I watched the first half & after 15 mins it was obvious what Swansea came to do. It was obvious most of our players thought they’d just come on,pass the ball around & blow Swansea away just like Monaco.

    The substitutions were pathetic. Looking to score against a parked bus & you took off Giroud(our only aerial threat) and brought on the Walcott(the most talentless/non dribbling forward in the club).
    Took off CoQ when you knew the only chance of Swansea scoring was either going to be from a counterattack or a set piece.
    Ramsey had no business completing the game yesterday.

    We were 3nil up against Hull City last week and bringing on Walcott could have being a nice nice sweet idea as they were pushing for goals, leaving spaces behind for forwards like Theo to lash unto.

    Yes it’s only our second defeat in almost 25 games but for me it shows why Wingerworth just wouldn’t win the big trophies again.

    Ffs the boys looked unmotivated in the 1st half yesterday. Mourinho has the title wrapped up(he did ages ago) but didn’t allow the motivation of his team drop.
    We all but confirm a top4 finish and we go into a must-win game like that?

    We approach United or the cup final like yesterday and we’d get stuffed. Simple.

    Yesterday is every reason why I refuse to admit we’ve made genuine progress this season.
    Put a pressure game where we should be favourites before us & we’d most likely crumble
    Put an organised well-drilled side before us & we’d most likely crumble

    We could easily have seen off that game for a nil-nil draw yesterday but nope,we had to go gallivanting around like giraffes throwing caution to the wind and get sucker-punched just like Monaco.
    One point will always be greater than 0 point in the grand scheme of things.

    But hey as long as Chelsea have £30million players on the bench we’d never beat a team like Swansea. We’d never win games at home we should be winning.
    You’d never know the reach of Abramovich’s oil money.

    Let’s blame Chelsea’s money for everything.

  67. Emiratesstroller

    The real point is that Swansea did the double against us and have clearly a game plan to stifle us. It is similar to what Chelsea also do against us.

    Arsenal need to learn how to counterbalance those tactics. What concerned me for most of game was that we did not play the ball to flanks where there was space. The ball went always down the middle.

    Another feature of game was that we played too often to their strengths. Swansea are a big team and sending in high balls to our relatively short team
    and in particular Walcott was daft.

    Looking at Walcott I do not see what this player has to offer to team. I find it
    remarkable that Wenger seems to believe that he has the makings still to be
    a striker. We saw yesterday how poor he is in that position. All the people sitting around me yesterday at Emirates agreed that he is frankly ‘ a waste of space’ in squad. At 26 he is NOT GOING TO IMPROVE.

  68. Thank you and goodnight


    I’ve said wenger deserves credit and your right compared to wengers early year’s here the footballing landscape has changed with the Russians money and the Arabs money. Without unlimited funds the manager needs to have that extra 20% now to get us over the line and really challenge the top 2. Unfortunately wenger is no longer the manager he was and his mistakes far outweigh his moments of genius than before.

  69. daz

    ES I agree with a lot of what you just said but I don’t see games like last night as a tactical error we were simply poor in the final pass/shot I don’t see tactics changing the fact Walcott/Sanchez should have buried their chance or Ramsey blazing wide when he was in a very good position yes tactics have been a problem against top sides but a game against Swansea at home not so much, as for the preparation I have a feeling monk caught Wenger out he most likely expected Swansea to play a slightly more open game similar to how we caught man city off guard.

  70. mysticleaves

    ES, its easy to say Swansea prepared all week for us. We are the big team, they are the smaller team. We have a set style of play. They went out of their way to prepare against our set style of play and conquered.

    Now if we are to prepare for Swansea what would that be? 7 times out of 10, one would expect Arsenal to beat Swansea so the onus is on them to stop us not the otherway round. How would we have prepared for Swansea? When they went out of their original style to prepare for us?

    In game tactics: the lads came on and saw Swansea was playing a different style to what they were used to and then tried to switch it up in the 2nd half. Wenger also noticed this and took off Giroud for Walcot which almost worked but ended up failing!

    The line is so thin between “what a masterpiece of a sub” and “clueless tactics”. That’s football for you

    Lastly, re a tall goalkeeper saving that goal, remember Cesc’s goal against Milan away? Weak shot far corner? Even the tallest of them GKs was unable to save it.

  71. tunnygriffboy


    It seems that anyone who is positive and optimistic is labelled an AKB. Many of those people on here are not afraid to cricise Wenger when he gets things wrong. However when they say that he has done things right that person is called an AKB. People it seems can’t have a balanced view without having a label attached

    I am more than happy to criticise players, manager and club when they get things wrong but I also like to say when they get things right. There have been major mistakes this season but also many improvements as well. I am more optimistic now than I have been in ages. We will see what the summer brings.

  72. Emiratesstroller


    Sorry but we have actually quite a poor record against both Swansea and Chelsea. We have managed just one point in 4 games. Also we lost to Swansea
    not so long ago at Emirates in a similar game where they packed defence and midfield and scored on counterattack through Mutu.

    I accept that Swansea are a very difficult team to beat, but with the quality of our squad and better tactics we should have done so. Let’s face it for 70 minutes Fabianski was barely tested in this game and most of our shots on goal were fairly straightforward saves.

  73. qna

    I know that Giroud has scored some important goals for us this season. But he is not actually a top level forward. He is more like Charlie Austen. To be fair to Giroud he does contribute to our intricate play, our one touch football near the box. He has been part of some of our finest plays. So he creates a certain level of Synergy in the team. But as an individual, as a CF he doesnt do enough. Both Cavani and Benzema might be available this summer and both of them would be better for our team than Giroud. I can’t see us selling Giroud, but I also cant see how we could play with both Giroud and one of these CFs at the same time. Perhaps with Gnabry, Oxlaide, Sanchez, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Welbeck all capable of playing on Left and Right wings, we could simply bring in another top CF and have them compete for the one spot. Would effectively make Giroud a squad striker which he is anyway. But having two 29 year old CFs with long contracts would be putting us in dangerous territory? Its so hard. I cant even see a hypothetical out to our current situation that doesnt involve Reus – who will 99% probably not be allowed to leave.

    Our big mistake is to add Welbeck to our strikers list last summer. We already had Walcott, Wilshere, Oxlaide and Gnabry as talented players who had not yet displayed that they were quality players and we went and added another one to that list rather than getting a genuine CF as we had needed for the past 4 seasons.

  74. Leedsgunner

    2 questions

    How did Swansea beat us last night?
    Why aren’t we learning from how they beat us earlier in the season? It’s not they employed different tactics!

    I reckon we became complacent and they sucker punched us.

  75. mysticleaves

    Nice analysis of our top 8 struggles, but that isn’t totally true. We have been one of the best in the top 8 mini league until 3years ago. In fact our struggles had always been against the lesser middle to bottom teams. Leave what the analysts are saying, Arsenal can do no right in their eyes and it tends to cover the supporters eyes.

    Spurs didn’t win a PL game against us until 3 seasons ago, Swansea came to the PL 4 seasons ago. Chelsea started dominating us in the PL around 2008/09 season. Only Man Utd was the top team we always found it hard to beat. Lpool and Man city we always win against or draw.

    My point is, who were the top 8 teams we couldn’t beat in 10 years? Our top 8 issues started coming up 3 to 4 years ago. And in that period, our bottom half massively improved. It has always been one for the other for Arsenal since 2005

    The challenge for Wenger would be to figure out how to balnce our top half and bottom half results over the course of a full season

  76. qna

    TGB: People it seems can’t have a balanced view without having a label attached

    Your right. Point conceded. Like I said to me its now just a generic label to sum up a group of fans that more or less take a position to defend the club, the manager etc from the general criticism that it is currently getting. It doesnt literally mean that you think Arsene Knows Best. But its really the only collective way to address fans that take this club can do no wrong mantra.

  77. mysticleaves

    Its safe to say that Swansea aren’t known as a counter attacking team. They hold possession also and pass it round much like we do. But they changed tactics.

    A better question or focus is, how do you negate a counter attacking team? The answer: you don’t do that with tactics but with luck!

    Barca found out against BM, Barca found out against Real Sociedad, Man City found out against Arsenal, Man Utd found out against West Brom. Its almost impossible to beat a team with 10 men behind the ball. You just keep shooting and crossing and HOPE a deflection or ricochet happens.

  78. qna

    Mystic: We have been one of the best in the top 8 mini league until 3years ago.

    Would love to see these Mystic if you have them? I was searching the web from them. I did note that I had seen this problem discussed on tv at the start of the year and they showed the top 8 mini table going back several years. If its three, then fine. But I still believe it sums up our current problems concisely and if we can measurably “move up” this top8 mini table, then I think that is when we will genuinely be in the title hunt. We could then say.. Oh if only we didnt drop points to Burnley or Newcastle. But as long as we are saying, if only we didnt drop points to Chelsea or United then I think that is a bit much to call it a slip. If you have a link to top8 mini tables I would very much appreciate it.

  79. tunnygriffboy


    We had good chances to score. We were lethargic in the first half but we did break them down the second half and had good chances to win the game.

    We could have been cautious and taken a point but instead we went for the win and should have got it. Chelsea limited us to very few chances. Yesterday we should have won

  80. gambon

    I said just last week that finishing second was huge for Arsenal, and look what happens.

    A team that cant get over the line to secure second is just not going to win the PL.

    It will be the same old shit next season. Wenger will buy 1 top level player and a few kids.

    We will finish 3rd/4th, but during the 38 games Wenger will explain every defeat away as an “accident” then use arbitrary periods of good form to conculde we are as good as anyone in the PL.

    “for 20 games we have been as good as anyone” – well when the league is 20 games long we will be laughing wont we.

  81. Wallace


    you see the troll on the guardian site calling Ramsey the ‘Welsh Henderson’? must have stung…;)

  82. Leedsgunner

    “We were unlucky.”

    Nope we weren’t.

    We are not just learning. Stop blaming bad luck when better preparation would have got the job done. Swansea executed their plan to stifle us. Where was our plan to counter theirs? Incredibly bad sportsmanship just to blame the other team for being overly defensive when it was really up to us to break them down.

    It’s not like they are the first team to play like that against us. Stoke, Chelsea, Blackburn, Bolton etc… all employed similar tactics — I ask again why aren’t we learning?

    Teams aren’t going to just roll over anymore just because we are the Arsenal.

  83. tunnygriffboy


    He’s going to be a top player. He’s 23 atm but needs to mature a bit. Interesting last week that Carragher said he was one of the best in the country. He needs to simplify his game and I’ve no doubt he will as he matures. Any club in the leaguewould love him

    Playing him wide is

  84. Leedsgunner

    “We could have been cautious and taken a point but instead we went for the win and should have got it. Chelsea limited us to very few chances. Yesterday we should have won”

    Fair enough then. Do we need to obtain better finishers then? Is Giroud good enough? If not why does Wenger only call him world class when he is in good form? Don’t real class strikers take their chances to make difference?

  85. tunnygriffboy


    Playing him wide is doing him no favours. He’s getting frustrated, comes to the middle and forces things. You either have to bench him or Santi. Rotation might be good.

  86. mysticleaves

    What’s the preparation for a team that plays withe 10 men behind the ball? What do you exactly do and it works 9/10?

    There are some things we can’t prepare for and that sort of tactics is one of them. We were unlucky like he said. Ntothing to do with preparation.

  87. gambon

    “What’s the preparation for a team that plays withe 10 men behind the ball? What do you exactly do and it works 9/10?There are some things we can’t prepare for and that sort of tactics is one of them”

    Lol this is possibly the most pathetic thing ive ever seen posted on here.

    There is no way of dealing with a defenisve team?

    Is that serious?

  88. tunnygriffboy


    Yes we need another top quality forward. You can’t legislate for the misses yesterday though. We made the chances but fluffed them. On another day we bury them and it’s game over. I can’t get overly upset as we’ve had a great run. Need a reaction for Sunday. We need 4 points from 3 games assuming man u get maximum points

    I know it is up to us to break them down but I hate when those tactics gain success. West Bro m did it to Man u recently as did Chelsea. I hope teams don’t start to see that as the way forward. Football would become very dull.

  89. Leedsgunner

    What’s the preparation for a team that plays withe 10 men behind the ball? What do you exactly do and it works 9/10?

    Pay me £8.5m per annum and I’ll spend some time figuring it out. Don’t we have individual dossiers on opposition players with their strengths and weaknesses? Don’t we watch past videos with how other top teams win against them? In January Chelsea beat them 5-0… how did they do that? Or did Swansea not park the bus against them? (I doubt it.)

    To say one can’t prepare against those tactics, respectfully, a cop out. Wenger fancies himself as a top manager — it should be easy enough for him… after all he’s always bleating on about how much experience he has. Why doesn’t he learn from his experience then rather than make excuses?

  90. daz

    The way to deal with these teams is to play how we normally do, if we are “flat track bullies” then I would guess we beat this set up most the time? Last night we just didn’t perform how we can/should when faced with this. When top teams do this to us then yes change up

  91. Leedsgunner

    “I know it is up to us to break them down but I hate when those tactics gain success. West Bro m did it to Man u recently as did Chelsea. I hope teams don’t start to see that as the way forward. Football would become very dull.”


  92. mysticleaves

    Gambon please profer the tactics to us here and also to guadiola, Pelligrini, Klopp, Wenger etc who obviosuly don’t know the tactics rather than make a mockery of already mocked self

  93. gambon

    “Gambon please profer the tactics to us here and also to guadiola, Pelligrini, Klopp, Wenger etc who obviosuly don’t know the tactics rather than make a mockery of already mocked self”

    Well that cleared things up!

  94. mysticleaves

    You don’t need to be paid 8.5m to know tactics. Afterall we all talk here like we know better than Wenger.

    Individual dossiers mean nothing when a team defends in numbers. You hardly have one individual to contend with. That’s the difference.

    Ask yourself why every team that the bus is parked against resort to frantic long balls and outside 18 long shots. If that’s a tactic, then that’s the only thing tha works. Now for that to work, its more down to luck than specialty. That’s just what am saying.

  95. Blsany

    Wenger’s comments are bewildering, if not entirely surprising. Arsenal have a wage bill that’s almost three times the size of Swansea’s. What did you expect Swansea to do? Mirror Arsenal’s shape and try to go one on one, two on two against technically superior players? For someone as obviously intelligent as Wenger, he can sometimes be very thick.You have to find a way to win, no matter the opposition’s tactics.

  96. mysticleaves

    Gambon you ended up saying nothing. Also replace “obviously” with “apparently” in my last post. Wrong choice there

  97. Leedsgunner


    How did Chelsea beat them 5-0 then? Or did Swansea play expansive football against them and not park the bus? Please explain.

    Or do we Chelsea have better players than us? I for one, don’t subscribe to this view.

    In my opinion apart from their keepers, first choice RB and their 1st choice ST we match them pretty well to be honest. We should have had enough firepower to do to Swansea what Chelsea did to them… that’s my point.

    Defensive tactics should be able to be countered otherwise as tunny has already said football would become really dull and not worth watching.

  98. mysticleaves

    Yes leeds, Swansea didn’t defend against Chelsea. They were pretty much expansive and fell apart after the 2nd goal by Chelsea. From then, nothing they tried worked…

    Don’t you know that the way teams prepare for Arsenal is different?

  99. Le Prof


    ‘My argument against people that I call AKB is that the club and Wenger can do no wrong,’

    I don’t think there is anyone in the world that who actually thinks that.

  100. Le Prof


    Last night we lacked tempo in our game and our final ball was often lacking or misplaced. It reminded me of the Monaco game but only we wasn’t naive and Swansea lacked the counter attacking quality of Monaco to punish us further.

    Swansea played their worst game of the season against Chelsea and gifted them the first 2 goals…downhill from then on.

    Give most teams a 2 goals start when you park the bus and you’ll find that bus fucks off pretty sharpish into your half.

  101. Blsany

    “Don’t you know that the way teams prepare for Arsenal is different?”
    Mistic wtf does that even mean mate?If anything the other teams knows exactly what we will bring to the game.Probably shortest preparation from their POV.I’d hate to see how teams prepare againstBarca and Bayern etc….or are we the best?Monk double over Arsenal and Manure in his first seasons.Face it mate Your Dinasour is going extinct.

  102. mysticleaves

    And also Leeds, Swansea isn’t a bus parking team. They changed their tactics against us today. Earlier in the same game at liberty staduim, they had more possession that us. In fact Swansea is one of the very very few teams that Arsenal normally cede possession to over the years. So their perfomance yesterday must have come as a shock to the players and Arsene.

  103. mysticleaves

    Blsany, that’s why its harder for us to find a way past, cos nothing is set in stone re long balls and long shots.

    Had Swanses gotten a draw, they still would have been happy cos that’s what they came for…a draw!

  104. Joe

    Come on mystic

    You think wenger is the greatest yet you make up excuses for why he lost to swanSea?

    When the money excuse is not available. Oh we’ll they parked the bus. What could we do?

    Well a man being paid 8.5 million a year should be able to figure it out. Especially one you sing the praises of.

    That’s what you don’t get. He can’t manage. He gets out managed so many times it’s now bordering ridiculous.

    1-0 loss to Swansea at home. From free flowing wenger. Great result.


    Im over the same shit every year. 10 seasons of it. If you want to be happy losing the same way over and over and gab wenger do the same thing agai. and again. So be it. I don’t